(Heart Valve Disease)
The picture above depicts a normal heart on the left and a heart with Valvular Stenosis on the right.
What is Valvular Stenosis?
Calcium Buildup: Heart valves accumulate calcium deposits over time from the blood flow constantly running through them. This buildup may start to show complications with age, especially in those with congenital heart defects. In some, the calcium deposits lead to stiff valves, which do not allow for proper blood flow through the heart.
Rheumatic Fever: Rheumatic fever, if contracted previously, can lead to scar tissue forming on heart valves. These excess tissues can lead to narrowing of the valves alone, but can also collect calcium and contribute to calcium buildup on it's rough surface.
An illustration of comparative valves with and without stenosis
A human heart valve
An illustration of a heart affected by valvular stenosis versus a healthy heart
Repair surgeries often involve the reshaping, separating, removal, or addition of valve flap tissue. Replacement valves can be taken from pig, cow, or human heart tissue, as well as synthetic tissue.
There are new treatment options in development for Valvular Stenosis, including a less invasive surgery which essentially does the same as the old technique: reshapes the heart valves. The new surgery involves creating a smaller incision to reach the heart valves or insertion of synthetic tubes to reach the major vessels. However, these surgeries are at a higher risk of complication and infection and are still being explored by cardiologists.
"Aortic Valve Stenosis." Causes. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
"Aortic Stenosis: Congenital Aortic Valve Stenosis And Rheumatic Aortic Stenosis." HubPages. HubPages, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
"About Aortic Stenosis." Symptoms, Progression and Diagnosis of Aortic Stenosis. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
Aortic Stenosis (n.d.): n. pag. Cormedicalgroup. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
"Heart Valve Disease." - University of Michigan Cardiac Surgery. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
"Women’s Heart NY, a Comprehensive Cardiology Program." Women’s Heart NY, a Comprehensive Cardiology Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
"Cardiovascular Pathology." Library Med Utah. N.p., n.d. Web.
"Living with a Mechanical Heart Valve: Click.Tick.Thump. Love It!" - Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"FDA Approves Sapien Heart Valve." Medimoon. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"Research Areas." Artificial Heart Valves Face the Curdled Milk Test. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"2012 Cardiac Lecture 2 Pathologies." 2012 Cardiac Lecture 2 Pathologies. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"1mhealthtips." 1mhealthtips. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.